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Overwatch and esports are joining hands as they stroll toward the mainstream, thanks to another tournament that’s coming to TBS, a cable channel available in 90 million homes.
Eleague, Turner Broadcasting’s new esports organization matchmaking and tournament-organization tool FaceIt announced today that they are creating a tournament for Overwatch. The team-based shooter is Blizzard’s latest hit. It launched in May for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and it was still the No. 1 selling game for June. Overwatch could be the next big game in the esports scene, a $892 million market.
The Overwatch Open has a $300,000 prize purse. It begins on July 23 with online rounds for European and North American teams. It all culminates in the Grand Finals on September 30, which will broadcast live on TBS and Twitch. The winning team will earn a $100,000 grand prize.
“We’ve been impressed with what Turner and WME-IMG and FaceIt have accomplished with Eleague, and are excited about seeing Overwatch on the Eleague stage,” said Nate Nazer, Overwatch’s global esports director. “The Overwatch Open will be a great opportunity to introduce the TBS and online audiences to the Overwatch players who are competing at the highest level in North America and Europe.”
Eleague launched in May with a tournament for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, another team-based shooter. Overwatch is a different beast, however. In Counter-Strike, all players have access to the same equipment (as long as they can buy it with in-game currency that they earn during matches). Overwatch is based around heroes with unique skills, so creating working team compositions is an important aspect of competitive play. Overwatch recently received its first new hero since release, the healing sniper Ana.
“This opportunity to feature Blizzard’s popular Overwatch further expands our esports offerings and aligns Eleague with a game that is widely embraced by the community,” said Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer of Turner Sports, in a canned statement. “We look forward to bringing the same level of production and storytelling capabilities we’ve demonstrated throughout the first season of Eleague to this championship event.”
Update 5:07 p.m. with a comment from Blizzard Entertainment.
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